February 24th, 2003

Fishy Circumstances

Literate Amusements

These are highlights from a list of keywords used to find a website of strange, unusual, and wonderful words. The initial phrases were the keywords used, while the italicized portions are the website's owner's commentary.

"using onions to predict weather: Stick an onion outside. Wait 10 minutes. If it's wet, it's raining. If it blows away, it's windy."

"how many words are in the word business studies: First, 'business studies' is not a word; it's two words. Second, there are two words in the word 'business studies'. No, wait ... "

Source: A posting in the etymology community recommended the website Phrontistery. The website, in turn, provides a link to its maintainer's LJ, forthright. Forthright, in turn, on the fourth of January, posted the list, from which these were excerpted. (Note: Most of the keywords aren't nearly as tasteful as the ones I've posted here.)
Fishy Circumstances

Word highlight

While working through otherwise tedious work hours this afternoon, I ran across a truly wonderful word: rocococity. Not only does it sound good, but the OED's two citations for it are in some ways even more delightful.

* 1844 E. FitzGerald Lett. (1889) I. 125 Think of the rocococity of a gentleman studying Seneca in the middle of February..in a remarkably damp cottage.
* 1916 A. Huxley Let. 29 Dec. (1969) 118 My monocle is very grandiose, but gives me rather a Greco-Roman air of rocococity.

Sadly, I did not run across rocococity in any useful context. I was merely looking up rococo to confirm whether or not it pertained to the right time period.